CANADA STOCKS-TSX extends rally on data, earnings

Tue May 1, 2012 5:11pm EDT
 
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* TSX ends up 40.10 pts, or 0.3 pct, at 12,332.79
    * Highest level since Apr. 3
    * Energy, materials lead gains
    * China, U.S. PMI data boost commodities
    * Suncor, Cameco post strong results

    By Jon Cook	
    TORONTO, May 1 (Reuters) - Toronto's main stock index rose
for the fifth straight session on Tuesday as resource shares
were boosted by strong manufacturing data from the U.S. and
China and solid earnings results from Canada's energy sector.	
    Oil and gas firms led gains for the second day in a row,
rising 1.2 percent as oil prices rose and strong earnings from
industry heavyweight Suncor Energy pushed the sector
higher. 	
    Suncor shares climbed 1 percent to C$32.94 a day after the
country's top oil producer reported first-quarter operating
profit that topped forecasts, driven largely by
better-than-expected production results. It also hiked its
quarterly dividend 18 percent. 	
    "The oil (stocks) are pretty much carrying the market," said
David Cockfield, managing director and portfolio manager at
Northland Wealth Management. "So far the earnings surprises are
on the upside and that certainly helps."	
    Suncor's results followed on the heels of last week's
positive earnings by Cenovus Energy, which saw its
shares rise 0.9 percent to C$36.17 on Tuesday.  
 	
    Other influential gainers included Canadian Oil Sands
, which soared 5.6 percent to C$23.05 a day after it
reported a quarterly loss, but still beat estimates.
 	
    Canadian Natural Resources, which reports later in
the week, climbed 1.1 percent to C$34.70 and Encana Corp
 jumped 2.9 percent to C$21.29.	
    The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index
 finished up 40.10 points, or 0.3 percent, at
12,332.79, its highest level since April 3. It was the first
time since early January the TSX has risen for five consecutive
sessions.	
    Seven of 10 main sectors in the index were higher.
Heavily-weighted materials rose 0.6 percent, led by Potash Corp
, which gained 2.9 percent to C$43.23.	
    Cameco Corp's shares spiked 2.8 percent to C$22.47
on Tuesday after the world's second-largest uranium producer
reported a 45 percent increase in quarterly profit.
 	
    Commodity stocks were buoyed after data showed manufacturing
activity in China and the United States rose in April, easing
concerns the world's largest economies had lost momentum.
  	
    The pace of manufacturing growth in Canada also advanced at
its strongest rate of the year in April as business conditions
improved for a third straight month, data showed on Tuesday.
 	
    The Chinese PMI, which rose to its highest level in 13
months, was seen having the largest impact on Canadian stocks.	
    "This is the number that shows that the biggest consumer of
our commodity goods is back to growth," said Barry Schwartz,
portfolio manager at Baskin Financial Services. "We could see
the commodity stocks, which have let us down for the past 12
months, become the winners."	
    Those sentiments were echoed by Bank of Canada Governor Mark
Carney on Tuesday. He told a business audience in Toronto that
commodity prices are likely to remain high for longer than in
previous booms. 	
    In other company news, Research In Motion shares
sank nearly 6 percent to C$13.31 on Tuesday after research firm
IDC said RIM's share of the global smartphone market had slipped
to 6.7 percent in the first quarter, from 13.6 percent a year
earlier. 	
    Shares of WestJet Airlines Ltd climbed 2 percent to
C$14.52 after Canada's No. 2 airline, said on Tuesday it has
selected Bombardier Inc to supply turboprop aircraft
for the new regional carrier it is setting up to compete with
Air Canada. 	
    TMX Group shares rose 2.5 percent to C$46.25 after
the consortium of Canadian financial institutions bidding for
the operator of the TSX extended its C$3.8 billion ($3.85
billion) takeover offer.